Mattress Math

David Perry

3 key demographic groups and their mattress-buying habits

October 11, 2017

6.6 and $726

This is the expected mattress replacement cycle in years for consumers between the ages of 18 and 35, and the price that consumers in that age group are willing to pay for a queen-sized mattress.

Why it matters: This is a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that younger consumers, many of them Millennials, have much shorter mattress replacement expectations than older consumers, which could open the door to more frequent mattress purchases by those younger consumers.

But there is a catch: Those younger consumers say they are willing to spend much less than older consumers. That’s not surprising, as incomes generally increase with age. It’s also important to note that spending expectation can be overcome if consumers see a compelling reason to spend more.

9.1 and $989

This is the expected mattress replacement cycle in years for consumers between the ages of 36 and 55, and the price that consumers in that age group are willing to pay for a queen-sized mattress.

Why it matters: Consumers’ expectations about mattress life are correlated to age, as you will see when you scan the figures in this column. As consumers get older, they generally expect mattresses to last longer, but, on the positive side of the ledger, they expect to pay more for those mattresses.

11.6 and $1,037

This is the expected mattress replacement cycle in years for consumers age 56 and older, and the price that consumers in that age group are willing to pay for a queen-sized mattress.

Why it matters: Those famous Baby Boomers fall into this category, and they expect mattresses to last almost twice as long as younger consumers. But they are willing to pay much higher prices for mattresses, as they have come to learn over the years how important a good mattress is to a good night of sleep.

Doing the math: These numbers provide a handy guidebook for retail sales associates, pointing out the opportunities — and challenges — posed by consumers in different age groups.

Millennials, some of whom are just starting their career journeys, aren’t willing to pay as much for a mattress as Baby Boomers, but their much-shorter mattress life expectations put them into the market more often that Boomers. Boomers, on the other hand, are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for their mattresses.

One other important point: The prices that consumers say they are willing to pay and the prices they actually pay are not necessarily the same. Compelling feature and benefit stories make a strong case for higher tickets.